Rod Stewart: ‘Ireland just has some magic for me.’ Photograph: Penny Lancaster

The singer on changing social mores, lockdown tears and why he loves Ireland

Tolü Makay appeared on RTÉ’s NYE Countdown Show in a breakthrough performance that attracted more than 1 millions views online

‘It’s my first time doing an album, so you learn.’ The singer reflects on 2021

Television’s latest fantasy epic, The Wheel of Time, is set to bring Robert Jordan’s 14-book series to life. Photograph: Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video

Robert Jordan’s sprawling 14-book series is a good vs evil high-fantasy tale

José González: I’ve had outlets for my different styles, but I felt the time was right to incorporate them into my own work

Folk singer on making a pro-science album, playing in Ireland and broadening his sound

Valerie’s Law: Megan Cusack in the Sistah Space campaign for UK police to be better trained about domestic violence

Irish actor joins FKA Twigs and Leah Harvey to push for enactment of Valerie’s Law in UK

Agnes O'Casey: ‘It’s so rare and lucky to be able to hear your great-grandad’s thoughts and feelings. I feel like I have a relationship with him.’ Photograph: Pip Bourdillon

After graduating from Dublin's Lir Academy, Agnes O'Casey makes her debut in Druid’s The Seagull

“The video for Girls Aloud’s The Promise was iconic, with all the five girls in gold, shimmering sequin dresses. It was phenomenal altogether.”

The RTÉ presenter James Patrice shares the playlist of songs he’s been listening to lately

Shane O’Driscoll is a visual artist

The visual artist on designing artwork for Bantum, sample culture and mixtapes

Darren Kennedy: ‘At the moment I’m loving pop but I continuously circle back to Spanish music’

The presenter on French music, catchy Ru Paul songs and dancing to Kylie Minogue

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu: ‘Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was very much my teenage anthem.’ Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

The Lord Mayor of Dublin on the songs that have defined the stages of her life

Modest Mouse: The song Float On has a remarkable 242 million plays on Spotify to date

Isaac Brock on indie rock band’s accessible new album and learning to play live again

 The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan in 2016. Photograph: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty

The TD on Florence + the Machine, Van Morrison, Beoga and the best songs for the road

Laura Donnelly as Amalia True and Ann Skelly as Penance Adair in The Nevers

The Wexford actor is co-starring with Belfast woman Laura Donnelly in the new HBO series

Megan Cusack as Nancy: ‘I feel a bit more independent with Call the Midwife’

The Call the Midwife actor is the latest generation of the Cusack acting dynasty

Irish actor Denise Gough: ‘I can’t deal with social media. I’m a highly sensitive person.’ Photograph:  Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for BFI

Irish actor on her character choices, catching Covid-19 and why she avoids social media

Rory Gallagher: the most underappreciated guitar player of the Clapton-Hendrix era? Photograph: Andrew Putler/Redferns via Getty

Soundtrack of My Life: The chef listens to music constantly – and now creates it himself too

Tune-Yards: Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner. Photograph: Pooneh Ghana

Merrill Garbus is consumed by big problems: racism, procreation and carbon footprints

Prof Luke O’Neill: Music is the one thing that held me together during the pandemic. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Soundtrack of My Life: The scientist on tracks that have helped him through the pandemic

Maura Dore is happiest with a hot chocolate and a lit fire.

All I Want: Family traditions are key for Kildare’s Channel 4 reality star

Meghan Trainor: “I feel everyone will be ready for Christmas this year. Especially because we’ve all had such a horrific year, we need something to look forward to.”

Despite Covid-19, the pop princess is looking forward to the festive season and her Christmas album

Simone Kirby has had a two-decade-long career, starring in Jimmy’s Hall, Peaky Blinders and more.

The actor on life in lockdown, upcoming projects and the difficulties of working in TV

Martin King says he does not turn on the television on Christmas Day and enjoys the company and food instead.

All I Want for Christmas... the TV and radio presenter on Christmas memories and why Simon Harris is on the nice list

Gary Barlow: ‘We’ve got to throw the positive vibes out there and hope it happens’

The singer on lockdown, playing Ireland, Ronan Keating, and reuniting with Take That

Novelist Louise O’Neill: ‘Rihanna is on my nice list, for donating over $2 million to support domestic violence victims during lockdown.’ Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

All I Want for Christmas: author Louise O’Neill on Christmas songs she can’t stand and her best festive memory

Lyra: “I’ve definitely lost some momentum by not being able to be on the road. I think that’s where I come alive most.”

Cork singer on pivoting plans, living away from home, missing performing and recording an album remotely

The Covid crisis has  given Michael Kiwanuka  time to ruminate over the next album which he again hopes to record with Danger Mouse and Inflo. Photograph: Olivia Rose

Mercury-prize winner on perseverance, lockdown and his latest album

Jamie Cullum’s new album The Pianoman at Christmas is released on November 20th.

The jazz musician on his new Christmas album, touring, anxiety and spirituality

Over the course of his 30-year career, Rankin has captured icons of the era.

‘Bono is a gorgeous man, both physically and in personality,’ says the celebrity portraitist

Characters Jock O’Keeffe (Chris Walley), Star O’Keeffe (Penny and Nola Richardson), Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy) are back from a third season of the show. Photographer: Miki Barlok

With a new series about to hit screens, thanks to streaming services – and subtitles – the show’s cult following has spread global(...)

Coel

The creator of I May Destroy You on consent, race relations and the fight for creative freedom

Jonathan Harden: ‘The truth is 99 per cent of actors don’t have a salary.’

In 2017 Jonathan Harden thought he was the only failing actor, then he started a podcast

James Acaster and Ed Gamble are co-hosts of the Off Menu podcast. ‘Food is something that you can connect over, especially in these divisive times.’

The standup discusses podcasts, Irish comedy and why 2016 was the best year for music

“I’ve never sacrificed any level of artistry, or of speaking my mind, or dressing the way I want to become more palatable to the public.”

From the Blue Ridge mountains, the nonconformist speaks of superficial fun and art

Spring time in Japan with cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Experience the Land of the Rising Sun from the comfort of the couch, with these films, cultural tours, documentaries and recipes

Mick Harvey: ‘The Australian comedian Shaun Micallef’s political satire show is a great release valve for dealing with these idiot politicians on a daily basis.’ Photograph: Sony DSC

Musician on the American author Joan Didion and Alice Coltrane’ ashram music

 As we wait for life to return to normal, it’s still possible to live a slice of authentic Italy at home

Look forward to better times by trying la dolce vita at home with these films, cultural tours, documentaries and recipes

Andy Warhol: “His art was a really revolutionary statement . . . The New York art world before Warhol emerged was dominated by abstract expressionism.”

Tate retrospective casts light on aesthetic of faith , industry, fame and consumerism

Anoushka Shankar has been listening to Tara Brach’s guided meditations.   Photograph: Laura Lewis

The musician on her father Ravi Shankar’s biography, Sally Mann’s photographs, and how Tara Brach’s podcast is keeping her calm

Sinéad Gleeson:  “Buy vouchers for theatres and make a pact with yourself to see more plays when we’re out the other side of this pandemic.” Photograph:  Bríd O’Donovan

Author on Agnes Martin’s self-isolation, Elaine Feeney’s new book and comedy of Maeve Higgins

Laurie Anderson: ‘Tom Hanks is in the forefront of my mind, as he caught coronavirus in Australia. I like him a lot’

The artist on ‘dangerous’ Andy Kaufman and the viral fear spreading in New York

Daniel O’Donnell sometimes  finds today’s humour complicated and smart, but Donegal’s Conal Gallen  is clear.

The singer on the mural art of Kevin Gallagher, the comedy of Conal Gallen, and why he’s still enchanted by The Sound of Music

 Mae Martin in Feel Good

Actor says her newly-sober character is close to where she was 10 years ago

Annabelle Comyn:  ‘I watch the news constantly’

The theatre director on how Derek Jarman and Parasite fed into her play Our New Girl

Almost 900 years since its construction, Angkor Wat remains a masterpiece

Shilpa Ganatra takes a phone photography tour of the magnificent Angkor Wat, and the temples that battled with the elements… and l(...)

Tim Burgess: ‘I’m a big fan of David Lynch. When I first moved to London I went to watch Blue Velvet and it blew my mind’
Tim Burgess: On my culture radar

The Charlatans frontman-turned-actor on Stephen Morris’s autobiography, Newry actor Susan Lynch, Craig Parkinson’s acting podcast (...)

The Waterford Greenway, a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line. Photograph: Fáilte Ireland

Forget package holidays and go on a trip you’ll all remember this year

Rapper Denise Chaila: ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat was powerful and important because he segued into fine art but never forgot that he began as a street artist’
Denise Chaila: On My Culture Radar

The rapper on Eddie Murphy's comedy and why Spirited Away is a confidence-boosting watch

Emma Dabiri: ‘The Playboy of the Western World is one of my all-time favourite plays’
Emma Dabiri: On My Culture Radar

The author and activist on Jordan Peele’s comedy, the art of Genieve Figgis and why Philosophy Tube is her YouTube channel of choi(...)

Toulouse seems specially suitable for meandering talks, the nursing of wine, and long stretches of riverside walking.

Unhurried pace of life and a prevailing air of creativity among the many attractions of France’s fourth largest city

Grainne Humphreys: ‘I’m waiting for DIFF to kick off so it’s all about comfort for me, and Harry Nilsson is one of my go-tos, especially A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night.’

The Dublin International Film Festival director on photographer Fan Ho, Mark Cousins’s new documentary and actorTrine Dyrholm

Aoife Carry,  the show’s artistic director, and her husband Mark Carry, an automation technician

The contemporary circus is back Dublin with Corteo, and two locals in tow

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker: ‘It’s the hardest choice when you’ve made something that you know was an original thought, and has come out sounding the same as something else’

Kevin Parker talks about album delays, plagiarism and gender equality in music

Ian-Lloyd Anderson: ‘I’m watching The Sopranos for the first time, and I’m enamoured by Edie Falco, who plays Tony Soprano’s wife.’ Photograph: Szymon Lazewski

Actor on The Irishman, the early comedy of Bernie Mac and acting talent of Edie Falco

Radie Peat: I like the humour of people in Belfast – it’s a little meaner than in Dublin, in a good way
Radie Peat: On My Culture Radar

Lankum singer on the tear-jerking properties of Olivia Colman, and the podcasts of Jon Ronson.

Castelfalfi in Tuscany, Italy

Fancy trying yoga in a salt cave, or cuddling a puppy while holding downward-facing dog?

Actor Alex Murphy: ‘I love the way anything goes in New York. I can imagine myself living there at some point in my life.’
Alex Murphy: On My Culture Radar

The Cork actor on the influence of Cillian Murphy, the comedy of Theo Von, and Shia LaBeouf’s biopic

Richard Corrigan: When we take comedy seriously, we need our head examined

Meath-born restauranteur on ditching work to see A Lazarus Soul and the allure of Rotterdam

Pumping on your stereo once more:  Supergrass have released a new boxset, The Strange Ones 1994-2008, and are playing two sold-out shows in the Olympia

The band that defined Britpop with Alright, Richard III and Strange Ones have reformed

Yoga at the Cliff House Hotel

From sleep to fitness, pilates to spiritual renewal, there’s something to suit everybody

Sarawak, Malaysia: this state on the northern side of  Borneo has incredible biodiversity

From Gujarat in India to Sarawak in Borneo, we’ve picked the best places to holiday this year

Jack L on stage
Jack L: On My Culture Radar

The singer on a Stephen Fry podcast and why The World at War should be mandatory viewing

Sinead Moriarty: ‘Paris is my favourite city in the world’

Author on her Orla Walsh prints, Sinead Burke’s podcast, and why Netflix’s Money Heist is a runaway hit

India Brown, Mackenzie Crook and Thierry Wickens in Worzel Gummidge.  Photograph: Amanda Searle

The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean star was drawn to the role of the TV scarecrow

Donal Dineen: My album of the year is Sentinel by Jape. Photograph: Bríd O’Donovan
Donal Dineen: On My Culture Radar

The presenter on Kevin Barry’s magnificence, Eamonn Doyle’s photography, and his admiration of Jessie Buckley

The scale of the Po-i Kalan Islamic complex of 16th century buildings in Bukhara brought Shilpa Ganatra to  tears.

Central Asia returns as a popular destination due to centuries of globally-important history and culture

Author Jane Casey
Jane Casey: On My Culture Radar

The author on watching Tom Hiddleston on stage, and how Andrew Scott influenced her new novel

Paul Ryder: ‘I’m a light reader, I wouldn’t get too serious because we get enough seriousness in the news’
Paul Ryder: On My Culture Radar

Pantodome artistic director on loving Doireann Garrihy’s podcast and the musical Six

Bronagh Gallagher: ‘If every I’m in a bad mood, I Google ‘Kristen Wiig Saturday Night Live’ and everything feels much better.

The actor and singer on why Blindboy merits a TV show, the political art of David Alfaro Siqueiros and the late, great Aretha Fran(...)

Nature lovers will revel in the hiking trails in Shimla, India. Photograph: iStock

From volcanoes in Costa Rica to sleigh rides in Lapland - take a trip you'll never forget

Artistic director of Irish Baroque Orchestra Peter Whelan: ‘I’m living in London, but it’s all about Dublin for me.’
Peter Whelan: On My Culture Radar

Artistic director of Irish Baroque Orchestra on his favourite author, album and more

The beautiful Resorts in the many atolls that constitute the Maldives are worth the trip.

Throw away your umbrella and winter woollies, and relax under the sun on a secluded paradise island surrounded by blue sea and whi(...)

Jim Jefferies: “The only person that can cancel me is me.”

Ahead of his appearance at the 3Arena, Australian comic Jim Jefferies talks career and family

Rachel Allen: “About 60 or 70 people come and spend Christmas at Ballymaloe.”
Christmas with Rachel Allen
  • People
  • November 22, 2019, 00:00

The TV chef brings her Scandi heritage to bear on the busy family Christmas at Ballymaloe, where ‘everyone can run amok’

Robbie Williams: I had a panic attack. I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do with this feeling’. Photograph: Hat Trick Productions/Livewire Pictures

Robbie Williams talks about his first Christmas album, why he's not happy with Louis Walsh and how his wife made him a fan of Chri(...)

Rachel Allen: “About 60 or 70 people come and spend Christmas at Ballymaloe.”

The TV chef brings her Scandi heritage to bear on the busy family Christmas at Ballymaloe, where ‘everyone can run amok’

Philip King: ‘We’ve arrived at a place where Irish music is being accepted’
Philip King: On My Culture Radar

The Other Voices founder on podcast The Brexit Club and the importance of Lankum

Jarlath Regan: Laura Whitmore has started her own podcast about podcasts called Castaway

The podcast host on his Michael Jordan obsession and king of comedy Zach Galifianakis

Pete Townshend: ‘In Ireland, you go to pubs and you see not just good musicians playing together, but supremely good musicians playing together, and it’s a shock that they’re not making millions of quid filling Wembley Stadium.’ Photograph: Terry McGough

The Who guitarist on addiction, his new novel and why he’s still touring 40 years later

Sorcha Richardson has achieved 11 million Spotify streams, without the need for international road miles. Photograph: Cáit Fahey

the singer's promising debut album follows years of ‘swimming upstream’ in New York

Jamaican Scotchies: honours my preconception about Jamaican food

There’s much more to Jamaican cuisine than jerk chicken, as Shilpa Ganatra found out when she went to the Caribbean island

Peter Broderick: ‘Jim Carrey was my childhood hero – I wrote to him when I was a kid’

The musician on his love of David Lynch, foraging and his appreciation for Jim Carrey

Actor Mary McEvoy: ‘Paris used to be my second home, but after the attacks, it stopped being my happy place – it just carries such horror for me.’
On My Culture Radar: Mary McEvoy

The actor on the appeal of Helen Mirren and discovering the artistry of Odilon Redon

Ardal O’Hanlon: ‘I listen to WTF with Marc Maron, although I’m getting annoyed with him.’ Photograph: Mark Nixon

The actor and comedian on Kevin Barry and why Shane Meadows’s The Virtues worked

The Accident: Eiry Thomas, Sarah Lancashire and Joanna Scanlan in Jack Thorne’s new drama

Jack Thorne's searing TV dramas tackle class, justice and real-life tragedies

Costa Rica beach

From Christmas markets to once-in-a-lifetime adventures, we’ve rounded up the best destinations to get you through the season

Reginald D Hunter: ‘Anybody on the planet making food worth anything is making it in New York.’

Comedian on ‘the Dantean hell’ of Nicolas Winding Refn, Billions star Dan Soder and more

Helen Mirren in Catherine the Great. ‘For me, to show older women as powerful, active, courageous, smart is important.’ Photograph: Sky

The granddaughter of Russian immigrants dazzles as the 18th-century empress

Hunter Schafer: ‘I’ve been going through an Antony and the Johnsons spiral recently’
Hunter Schafer: On My Culture Radar
  • Culture
  • September 28, 2019, 05:00

The Euphoria star on Spirited Away, David Rappeneau’s art and Moby’s vegan restaurant

Oonagh Murphy: ‘I grew up doing musical theatre so I’m not allergic in the same way that other people are’
Oonagh Murphy: On My Culture Radar
  • Culture
  • September 21, 2019, 05:00

The director on Aisling Bea, the renewed relevance of Cabaret, and the joys of a Dyson fan

Christina Aguilera. Photograph: Luke Gilford/RCA

The pop star on growing up in the spotlight and paving the way for other women performers

Sara Pascoe: “Culturally even, you have shows like Friends or Sex in the City that are imbibed along with like fairy stories, which are all about The One.”

Her book Sex Power Money balances the informative, the weighty and the laugh-out-loud funny

Margaret Atwood. Photograph: Arden Wray/New York Times

The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is ‘partly inspired by world we’re living in’, says the author

John Spillane: On My Culture Radar
  • Culture
  • September 14, 2019, 05:00

The singer-songwriter on Mick Flannery’s musical, Damien Dempsey’s collaboration with Katie Tempest, classic film Il Postino and C(...)

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